occasionally a cheek or neck, and very purposefully dig a long scratch into my skin. Not a fun phase, I assure you.
He hasn't done anything like that in a long time. His school has taught him excellent coping and calming skills, and just having words available has relieved much of the pressure inside his head. By no means have the tantrums gone away completely, but they are non-violent and there is virtually no un-prevoked aggression. (Emma's no angel either, make no mistake.)
Today, he became very frustrated with me for daring to tell him that he had his zip-up sweatshirt on upside down and might have trouble zipping it. I know, what was I thinking? At one point, as I was stopping his flailing hands, I saw the lead up to a scratch. Strangely enough, it was fascinating to watch the process. His finger pointed and curved, and I watched his eyes looking at me and the war going on behind them. He knew what he was about to do and knew it was wrong, but was going to try it out. And I let him (drawing away slightly to minimize the damage). With quick but careful movements he swiped at me, scratching the surface of my neck. I didn't yell, but opened my eyes wide and gasped loudly at him. Immediately he stopped, pulled away, started crying and repeating the words, "I'm sorry, Mommy" over and over as he petted my neck gently.
I wish I could get into that brain of his. I watched it work today. I watched it struggle. Which part of the decision making process broke down and regressed? How does it feel to watch your body do something your brain knows is wrong?
As he began to calm down, he pulled me to the band-aid drawer to help "fix" me. I assured him that a kiss would be enough to heal the wound. And his sweet little boy kiss most definitely did fix my pain. I wish my kiss could do the same for his.